Located on Sao Miguel Island in the Azores (a Portuguese territory), Ponta Delgada is a unique destination that is featured on many cruise itineraries. This city is famous for its natural, breathtaking landscape, primarily derived from volcanic activity. It is also where you can admire Gothic-style architecture, and discover everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Azorean culture. Ponta Delgada is home to iconic landmarks (such as the three arched city gates), cave tours, historic forts, museums, churches, gardens, markets, and even a pineapple plantation. Plus, this city is well-known for serving fresh seafood in its local restaurants, including everything from cod all the way to octopus! Mouthwatering pastries are also another specialty that you should not miss when spending time in Ponta Delgada.
A great time of year to visit Ponta Delgada, for its most pleasant weather, is between April and November.
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The following cruise destinations can be visited on a cruise that includes Ponta Delgada. Select a destination to view the upcoming cruises that are available:
The following cruise lines offer cruises sailing to Ponta Delgada. Select a cruise line to view the upcoming cruises that visit Ponta Delgada:
Value is a key feature of these popular cruise lines, as they offer lots of activities, entertainment and dining options, along with a variety of stateroom types. Some of the cruise lines in this category have ships with unique innovations like water slides, rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, surfing simulators, bowling alleys, and boardwalks.
Their ships are usually anywhere from mid-sized to very large "mega" ships, accommodating thousands of guests. These ships give the feel of being in a large resort.
Mainstream cruise lines are a great option for just about everyone (including multi-generation families, and first-time cruisers), and typically have great youth programs.
During the cruise, entertainment may include Broadway productions, Vegas-style shows, comedians, and music. Some of these lines have select formal nights during the cruise. Specialty restaurants are becoming more and more common (some which have a cover charge for this type enhanced dining experience). Buffets are usually available throughout the day, besides room service, and the main dining room(s).
These cruise lines enhance what mainstream cruise lines typically offer, by providing their guests with higher quality service and cuisine, along with more spacious public spaces and accommodations.
Depending on the cruise line, the ships in this class range in size from small to very large.
These cruise lines appeal to a more discerning traveler, and are typically more expensive than mainstream cruise lines, but more affordable than the luxury lines.
These cruise lines offer a truly unique vacation experience, with a wide range of possible amenities and itineraries. Some are expedition cruise lines, others have sailing yachts or are coastal ships.
On these types of cruise lines, there's usually a focus on a specific destination or theme. Itineraries are usually very destination intensive, aided by the fact that they're able to reach many ports of call that larger ships can't.
Expedition cruise lines are a great fit for adventure-seeking travelers, featuring exciting destinations like the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, and the Norwegian coast. During the cruise, there will usually be plenty of interesting lectures given by experts on the destination being visited. Often, shore excursions are included in the cost of the cruise. In fact, some of these cruise lines have all-inclusive pricing. There's a definite focus on the ship's surrounding scenery, as well as opportunities to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Small, but comfortable, ships are commonplace here, with anywhere from basic to very luxurious public spaces, cuisine, and accommodations (depending on the cruise line and ship).
Sailing Yachts, sail-assisted motor ships, offer a really unique vacation experience. Accommodations and cuisine on these intimate vessels can be anywhere from good to fantastic, depending on the cruise line. Destinations offered by these cruise lines may include the Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, Tahiti, and Costa Rica.
These cruise lines fit (quality and, usually, price-wise) somewhere in between Premium and Luxury cruise lines.
A country club casual atmosphere can be expected on these lines, as can be elegant accommodations and gourmet cuisine. These cruise lines are a great option for adults looking for a upscale, yet laid back, vacation.
Unique itineraries are often available on these cruise lines, as their small-to-mid-sized ships can visit ports of call that large ones can't get to.
The pricing on Azamara Club Cruises includes select beverages and pre-paid gratuities, while the pricing of Viking Ocean Cruises includes shore excursions and select beverages.
When the finest cruise vacation is your top priority, this is the place to start.
On a luxury cruise line, guests experience highly personalized service, a more intimate (and usually formal) onboard experience, gourmet cuisine, well-appointed accommodations, and fantastic amenities. Many of these brands have smaller ships, allowing them to reach ports of call that the larger ships can't, which results in unique itineraries.
All of these brands feature a version of all-inclusive pricing, and some of them have ships with all-suite accommodations. Although these cruise lines are usually more expensive than the rest, they also provide their guests with so much more, resulting in a fantastic value when considering all that's included.
Becoming more and more popular, a river cruise is an immerse and destination-focused vacation experience, on a small and luxurious vessel.
River cruises sail through the inland waterways of some of the world's most interesting vacation destinations (i.e. Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America), and provide their guests with a greater opportunity to spend time visiting more unique ports of call than a traditional cruise typically would.
Because the destination is the star of a river cruise, (typically guided) shore excursions are included at no additional charge by many River cruise lines. There are usually many interesting lectures given during the cruise, by experts on the history and culture of the region being visited.
Among the famous rivers that one may take a river cruise on are the Rhine, Mississippi, Seine, Danube, Mekong, Nile, Yangtze, Amazon and Douro.
These are just a few of the more popular tourist attractions in Ponta Delgada, along with a brief description:
♦ Coal Caves
If you’ve ever wanted to tour a cave, now is your chance! Ponta Delgada’s Coal Caves offer guided tours of natural caves that were formed by lava. During your tour, you can see the inside of the caves, as well as learn about how they were formed and the different kinds of stone that they are made from. The tours run about 30 to 45 minutes in length, making this a quick but interesting and unique activity, especially for a rainy day! If you plan on checking out this activity, ensure that you bring a good pair of walking shoes, the surface of the caves can sometimes be challenging to walk on.
♦ Fort Saint Blaise
History buffs are certain to appreciate a trip to Fort Saint Blaise. This 16th century fort is well-preserved and provides you with incredible insight into the area’s history and military past. Among some of the items you can view in the museum include weapons, uniforms, guns, model planes, military vehicles, and other war artifacts used in Portugal. You can navigate from room to room via tunnels, which is an interesting experience. You can easily spend a few hours taking in all the interesting history presented here!
♦ Jardim Antonio Borges
A wonderful way to spend some time outdoors in Ponta Delgada is to visit Jardim Antonio Borges, a beautiful botanical garden. Some of the natural wonders you can admire when you visit here include a duck pond, caves, a playground, stone bridges, quaint walkways, and tons of lush greenery! These gardens are so beautifully designed that you might even feel like you’re wandering around in a storybook setting! You might also come across a few stray chickens and cats during your visit. When it comes time for lunch, stop by the café and grab a nice snack to enjoy in the fresh, open air!
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